Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Exercise to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can occur for a wide range of reasons, and reportedly affects as many as 80 percent of adults at one point during their lifetime. And that's because we're talking about a significantly large area of the body, one that can be prone to inflammation, strains, sprains and even arthritis.
As we age, our bodies naturally become more susceptible to wear and tear. Aging is a common risk factor for lower back pain for a variety of reasons that are simply beyond our control.

During middle age, most people will begin to show signs of bone loss, or osteoporosis. Most commonly, bone fractures increase as bone density decreases.
At the same time, aging contributes to a loss of collagen and elastic tissues. Weaker bones and decreased flexibility ultimately are a perfect recipe for common lower back injuries, and this combined with an upward trend in sedentary lifestyles has made back pain more common than ever.

But just because it's not possible to reverse the hands of time, doesn’t mean you’re entirely at the mercy of the Natural Law. While aging is inevitable, getting old early doesn't have to be.

One of the most effective ways to thwart the effects that time has on your body is exercise. If you aren't already exercising daily, it's time to start. Keeping your back and abdominal muscles in check so they can properly support your spine and prevent muscle or bone injuries is one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to mitigate injuries now and in the future.
Don’t worry, you don't need to be a candidate for the annual Universe Championships to reap the benefits of exercise; simple stretches and movements for just for 20-30 minutes every day will help you to become stronger to protect your back from a range of potential injuries.

Whether you're at your desk all day in a collapsed position, or you’ve overdone it at the gym, stretching your back can help you to stay healthy and limber.
1. With feet shoulder-width apart, slowly bend your upper body backward while breathing deeply. Engage your muscles, including your buttocks and thighs, but don’t lock out your knees.
2. With hands and knees on the floor, slowly round your shoulders and begin to lower your hips toward your heels. Tighten your abs, hold and repeat.
3. Laying on your back, slowly bring your knees to your chest while engaging your abdominal muscles. Wrap your arms around your legs, either under or over the knees; hold this position before repeating.

Build Muscle!
Strong muscles, particularly in the back and abdominal region, will keep your spine better supported, and help to prevent a range of health issues down the line. When you have proper musculature to support your body's movements, you're placing less strain on single joints because you're able to distribute pressure from jumping, running and even just walking more evenly. Proper muscle tone will also support your long-term quest for a healthy weight, which is essential to staying young and free of unnecessary aches and pains.
Strength training doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. A set of resistance bands and just 30 minutes three times per week can help you to build up the muscles you'll need to become stronger, more flexible and more resistant to injuries.
Learn more about the benefits of TheraBand Resistance Bands here.

A daily exercise routine comes with a wide range of benefits, including stable body weight. Why is weight just as important as strength and flexibility? Being a healthy weight reduces your risks of developing acute and chronic injuries because it eliminates excess pressure that's put on your joints when you're above your ideal weight. While a few additional pounds are usually hardly noticeable to friends and family, your joints agree that even a little bit can make a big difference; for every pound you lose, you'll also take four pounds of pressure off your spine!
And it's not just your back that'll thank you, your knees greatly benefit from you being as close as possible to your ideal BMI as well. So whether you enjoy walking, biking, swimming or salsa dancing, make daily movement a part of your routine today.

Exercise has never-ending benefits that range from mental health to joint support. Remember to underpin your exercise routine with other daily habits that are proven to contribute to a long and healthy life.
If you suspect you have an injury, speak with your doctor promptly to see what steps you can take to help heal faster. We offer a range of back braces designed to aid in prevention and recovery by providing proper support and/or partial immobilisation.
Looking for additional weight loss tips? Check out these easy-to-digest diet resources to learn how you can manage your weight by changing your habits today.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Healthy Knees

How to Keep Knees Healthy Longer & Counter Osteoporosis Arthritis

Knee problems and other joint-related health issues seem to be a rite of passage for anyone over the age of 50. While knee pain, injuries and surgeries are extremely common, and millions of people currently already have artificial knees, knee-related issues are highly preventable according to the Harvard Medical School. An artificial joint can make all the difference in a person’s life, but major surgeries like these can come at more than a financial cost. There are a number of measures that you can take in order to avoid or prolong knee problems that often lead to Osteoporosis Arthritis. We’ll discuss how to keep knees healthy for longer, and several alternative ways to combat knee pain or injury where possible.

Stay Active & Regulate Your Weight
This is by far, the most important precaution you can take in order to avoid knee problems and many other health issues. Daily exercise a few times per week will help fortify your muscles and can help regulate your weight, both of which work to prevent knee deterioration.

When you strengthen your muscles, this helps absorb some of the stress you place on your knee from simply walking. According to the Harvard Medical School, your knees absorb 1.5 times your body weight when you walk. If you work to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, hips and core muscles, they alleviate some of the stress off your knees and help stabilize the knee joint. 

Furthermore, daily exercise can help regulate your weight, which determines the amount of stress placed on the knees. One pound of unhealthy weight can add up to four times the amount of stress on your knees, and obesity alone is a common cause for knee deterioration. The more shock your knees absorb, the faster their cartilage deteriorates and once the cartilage is gone, your bones start to rub against each other, which leads to pain, stiffness and swelling. Since cartilage can’t be replaced, prevention is vital.

Regulating your weight, also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and helps you control your blood-sugar levels. This is important because high glucose levels in your blood can cause your body to produce molecules that make your cartilage stiff and more sensitive to stress. The higher the glucose level, the faster the generation of these molecules, which is why there is a high correlation between diabetes and Osteoporosis Arthritis.

Exercising also improves your range of motion, which matters because your muscles become more stiff with age. Having a range of motion that allows you to straighten the knee can be an indicator of a healthy knee according to the Harvard Medical School.

Eat Foods to Strengthen Your Bones
Strengthening your bones is also key to avoiding Osteoporosis Arthritis, and this means eating the right nutrient-rich foods. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the following foods are great for your bone health:

  • Foods high in Vitamin C: red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, papaya, pineapples and more.
  • Vitamin D: mushrooms, salmon, mackerel and more.
  • Calcium; found not just in milk: broccoli, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, mustard greens, tofu and more.

Find a complete nutrition guide to fortify your bones here.

Be Mindful With Daily Activity
In addition to taking preventative measures such as exercising and eating right, it’s important to pay attention to your body’s cues. Listen to your joints when you are running or walking for extended periods of time. If you experience discomfort in your knees, you may want to skip the high impact exercise that day as there is a high possibility that it can lead to knee injury. 

Ladies, it’s time to ditch the high heels in favor of a flat; if you wear heels every day to the office and notice that your knees hurt at the end of the day, you’re placing too much stress on your joints and risking long term damage.

Care for Your Injured Knees
While it is always easier to prevent than to repair, a full recovery is still within reach if you choose to focus on the process and have a dedicated attitude toward your health. 

  • Use a knee brace to protect the injured area
  • Rest as much as possible to allow for a faster recovery
  • Use a bandage to apply the right amount of compression and ice to reduce swelling in the injured area.

Once your doctor has deemed it appropriate for you to become active again, make sure to continue to
wear your knee brace along with the right shoes. Your athletic and daily activity shoes must offer adequate cushion and support for your knees. 

If you have any questions, you can consult here for more information on the types of knee braces you can use to treat injuries, and for other ways to prevent knee injuries from physical activity.